PHOENIX – The Heard Museum gained more support for its strategic initiatives with a $1.1 million grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
The grant will fund two of the Heard’s major initiatives:
The crosswalk is an integral component of the Heard’s interior reconfiguration plan. The Heard has undergone several expansions over its 86-year history, which resulted in two unconnected second-story areas. This has long posed a challenge for visitors in navigating the spaces, especially visitors searching for the Boarding School Experience exhibit. When complete, the second-floor walkway will run from the Berlin Mezzanine to connect with the Boarding School exhibit entrance via the Virginia G. Piper Gallery. This project will connect the two second-floor spaces, providing direct interior access to the Boarding School exhibit and a greatly enhanced wayfinding experience.
The Boarding School Experience exhibit has received much acclaim over its 15-year run for its groundbreaking retelling of one of the United States’ most tragic chapters, the establishment of off-reservation boarding schools for Indian children in a misguided attempt to “Americanize” them. The Boarding School exhibit will be refreshed, and new materials added to update the story of the schools and the students who survived the experience. In addition, two smaller traveling exhibits will be created for use by smaller museums and institutions.
“I would like to thank the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for this generous grant,” said Heard Museum Interim Director and CEO John R. Bulla. “This grant demonstrates the continued support of our strategic initiatives to enhance and enrich the visitor experience. We look forward to presenting new exhibits, events and programming that will engage the community and educate the public about the rich cultures of the Southwest.”
During her career, Nina Mason Pulliam shared her financial success and business leadership skills with many charities. She was particularly sensitive to human needs, animal welfare and environmental issues. “She had a keen awareness of challenges that face our community and would take great pride in the outstanding work being done by organizations like (name of agency),” said Carol Schilling, Trustee chairman. “Through her Trust, we continue to build on her legacy which clearly reflects her heart for philanthropy.”
The grant to the Heard Museum represents one of 21 awarded to nonprofit organizations in Arizona by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust during the second of two grant cycles this year. Since the Trust began its grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $252 million to nonprofit organizations in Arizona and Indiana.
As of September 30, 2015, the Trust had assets of approximately $364 million. Visit www.ninapulliamtrust.org.